Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Arrogance of American Public Education

Today a member of my PLN posted this picture on Facebook:

The sad fact is that our schools are designed for students who listen well, comply with authority, have no urge to think for themselves, don't question the bias of information being given to them, have no desire to experiment, and learn at exactly the pace that we teach. 

If they learn too quickly, we force them to sit quietly (often bored out of their minds) while the rest catch up with them. 

If they learn too slowly, refuse to buy into the factory model of the 1900's that we force upon them, are interested in the arts more than standardized test prep, or prefer to learn while doing instead of listening, we label them as "learning disabled."  Often we medicate them to make them more compliant to our methodology.

Maybe we need to start teaching differently.   
Maybe our students have realized something that we have yet to discover.
Maybe we have a collective teaching disability and are too arrogant to change ourselves. 

After all, if our job is to educate and our students aren't learning, are we doing our jobs?